The Association of Housing Corporations of Nigeria has said that in the first quarter of 2018, it will begin a pilot scheme of the Home Ownership Off-takers Affordability Survey Data Base with the creation of a verifiable working database of about 1,000 workers per selected state.
The association said with its partner, Value Chain Project Consultants, the workers would be pre-qualified for their actual housing needs and mortgages to acquire same in all the states of the federation.
According to the AHCN, the development is aimed at addressing the issue of non-availability of database for off-takers on real estate and mortgage information management, which constituted a major challenge to the development of mortgage system in the country.
The association, in a communiqué issued at the end of its national workshop and 44th Annual General Meeting, and signed by its President, Muhammed Adamu, and Secretary, Olusola Martins, also called on the Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria to provide a revolving housing fund and inject a minimum of N500bn into the real estate sector at a single digit interest to develop the housing sector.
It added that state housing corporations had potential to mitigate housing deficit in the country but that they had been rendered less effective over the years as a result of political interference.
The AHCN noted that the Nigerian mortgage system was still underdeveloped to drive home ownership, as more than 90 per cent of new homes utilise funds from personal savings for incremental construction of which the overall mortgages accounted for less than one per cent of the National Gross Domestic Product, adding that real estate accounted for just about eight per cent, as opposed to 35 per cent and 65 per cent respectively in other developing and developed economies of the world.
The association said it would take advantage of the $300bn World Bank fund for the Nigeria Housing Finance Programme of which only $120m was drawn by the Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company to date, and called on all state governments to support their housing agencies to access the fund for the provision of housing for their citizens.
The communiqué read in part, “The workshop therefore reiterates its commitment to Public-Private Partnership and calls on government to take appropriate steps to address, strengthen and embrace emerging partnership options for effective housing delivery of decent and affordable mass housing so as to promote effectiveness and profitability of housing agencies.
“We note the availability of various funding opportunities that abound in funding mass housing and resolve to partner with major stakeholders in the housing sector such as the NMRC and the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria to fashion out appropriate exit strategies in exploring foreign investment and partnership windows with long term tenure to expand the affordable housing market in Nigeria.”
The association also bemoaned what it termed the lackadaisical attitude of the different tiers of government to the National Housing Fund as opposed to what obtained when the policy was newly introduced, and said all outstanding contributions to the NHF should be remitted, while the statutory provisions of the National Housing Policy should be strictly enforced and applied as well as the sanctions embedded in the policy.